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What We've Discovered So Far: Economic Costs Predict Stated Woke Beliefs
We can explain a lot of woke belief variance with heritability, and fear of losing income. This leaves little room for mind viruses
Over the last month, I’ve put out 4 original studies:
Last time, I summarized the first study. This article is part 2, so I will summarize the second paper above.
What Predicts being Woke?
Last time, we found some evidence that the “mind virus” explanation of wokeness isn’t true. This leaves us wondering, how do we predict someone’s wokeness or leftism?
There is a pre-existing literature showing the heritability of political ideology is high.
The narrow-sense heritability of wokeness is about 0.64. This is inline with earlier literature.
Using various versions of the Wilson and Patterson conservatism scale, research has shown that both, genetic and cultural, influences are responsible for the observed variance in conservatism. Based on a conservatism measure derived from the original scale (Wilson and Patterson 1968), Martin et al. (1986) reported monozygotic (MZ) twin correlations of 0.60 for males and 0.64 for females, assessed in a large sample from the Australian Twin Registry. Eaves et al. (1997) reported on MZ and dizygotic (DZ) twin correlations across age (9.5−75 years). They found that prior to age 20 all variance due to individual differences is age-related, implicating environmental influences. However, after age 20, age effects vanished and there were significant differences between MZ and DZ twin correlations, suggesting genetic influences. In a later study, Eaves et al. 1999 reported heritability estimates of 0.65 for males and 0.45 for females based on the Virginia 30,000 study of twins and their relatives. Bouchard et al. (2003) assessed the 28-item conservatism scale in the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart (MISTRA) and reported a heritability of 0.56. Hatemi et al. (2014) published results of a genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analysis, where several cohorts and, among other measures, various versions of the Wilson−Patterson conservatism scale were used. They also reported on variance components. They found a combined weighted mean of relative influences across measures and cohorts of 0.40 for genetic influences, 0.18 for common-environmental influences and 0.42 for unique-environmental influences.
Above is roughly what this looks like. At best, mind viruses can make a 1 SD conservatism-genetics person wiggle around in between 1.5 SD and -1 SD. They can’t make him a communist or a far-rightist, if those are something like -2 and 2 SD respectively.
But we know mind viruses seem pretty fake. So what explains the environmental variance? We suspect it’s economics. This is what we tested.
The study asked the following question: what percent of wokeists report fearing losing income if they defected from wokeism? This will give us an idea about the extent to which woke can be explained by top-down economic pressures.
The essential hypothesis is something like this: wokeness is mostly heritable in both the elite and the masses. In fact, the elite and mass gene pool is heavily linked, because as Gregory Clark has demonstrated, there is a moderate, stable rate of class recirculation in any society no matter the apparent “structure.”
We have emerging data showing that in any society, the elite are have almost all of the spending money. This is basically the definition of the “elite.” Above, a p99 value is the percent of the wealth of a society owned by the top 1%. You can see it’s always in between 20% and 80% of the wealth over the last 300 years in diverse societies (as an aside, I have a $6/value bounty on novel p99 or p90 values, since p99s correlate heavily with p90s meaning p99s can be inferred from p90s. If you find a p90 or p99 that is not in the dataset above, and that nobody else has found and given to me, I will pay you $6 per value).
Elite and mass behavior will both have strong genetic components. Their genetics should be higher correlated, and a change over time in one mean should appear in the other mean as well. So if people are getting more woke over time due to the unraveling of group selection, we should see it in the elite and the masses.
But on top of that, the elite have a lot of wealth, so some mass behavior might be explained by money pressures which should mostly come from the elite. In other words, a certain proportion of people might be pushed to wokeness or non-wokeness depending on their economic circumstances, which should be mostly top down because of wealth concentration.
So in this study, due to funding and design limitations, we treated wokeness as a binary factor. We asked people are series of questions regarding BLM, LGTB, and feminism, which from an examination of the historically record, we believe to be the substance of the unraveling of group selection via mutational load. In many if not all empire declines, we see acceptance of foreigners, sexual degeneracy including cross-dressing and homosexuality, and fertility decline coupled with more “freedom” for women. These correspond to BLM, LGBT, and feminism respectively. As predicted, these correlated very heavily and a general factor with loadings over 0.75 can be pulled out of these questions. This is “general wokeness.”
Above are the probabilities that someone said they would lose income, friends, or family depending on whether they defected from their wokeness (wokeness=1) or their conservativeness (wokeness=0). As you can see, the odds are slightly in favor of wokeness, but not significantly. This is interesting because it suggests that the economic pressure component is roughly homoscedastic, if converted to continuous measurements.
In other words, it correlates with conservativism about as well as it does with wokeism.
How do we get variance explained from the probability? Just do the following simulation and find the r^2 value.
So our variance explained by the direction of costs is about 33%! Interestingly, this is all of the rest of the variance if heriability is 67%, as it has been estimated to be numerous times.
Because the measure is roughly homoskedastic, if it were continuous we would expect something like this:
It is hard to tell how much of expected income loss is “in” heritability. It is probably some of it, meaning we can’t predict someone’s politics with just their genes and their job.
If we could basically do that though, it would look like the chart above. The spread when the x axis is 1 would be the maximum amount that memes and propaganda can alter people. You can see in this case it would be very little.
If half of our cost variance is new, this is what it would look like. Idealists have a little bit more wiggle room, but not much.
Sadly, we don’t know how much of the variance is new. However, it’s likely that at least some of it is. This is yet more evidence against idealists. All things considered, it looks like ideas are for the most part just the epiphenomena of genes and economics.
Wokeness is not new, in fact it appears that it is just an instantiation of what we have observed in other civilizational declines (I would like to quantify this soon). Thus, Herbert Marcuse or the Frankfurt School did not “invent” wokeness.
No one reads the woke books often blamed for the “mind virus” by mainstream conservative pundits, and generally speaking, people are not very gullible. When you attempt to convince them to engage in evolutionarily costly behavior, they figure it out and don’t, even if they claim to have been convinced. Thus it’s not that the woke are just like you and me on the inside, except for the fact that they have been infected by a mind virus — they have different innate tastes, and often refuse to bear the economic burden of those tastes themselves.
Genetics explains most of the variance of wokeness, and we have reason to believe the mean genetic wokeness value has been going up in the last century or more.
Now we are finding that if it’s not someone’s genes that makes them agree with wokeness, it’s fear of losing income. That’s not a mind virus, that’s just economics interacting with the gene pool.
But people hold onto the mind virus view because it’s intuitive. They feel like they’re thinking when they do politics. There’s a lot of propaganda around, so surely it matters?
But they refuse to imagine in the face of evidence that maybe in matters in a different way they think it does. It’s probably all just “collective action signals.” This is the proximal mechanism for politics. Laws don’t change themselves, someone has to circulate an idea like “reparations.” So maybe they write a book, go on tour if people genetically like the idea, more people signal their agreement and now everyone knows that the genetic and economic conditions for the action are right. A few more people who are not that woke genetically but who might get fired if they speak out signal their agreement — consciously, they probably just feel woke.
It feels like people are “catching” the “mind virus” of reparations, but really it’s just that 10 or 20 years ago, people weren’t genetically woke enough. There were too many conservative voters, workers, and elites still alive and active, and the wokest were still in elementary school or diapers.
So for someone to write a book claiming Ibram X. Kendi is the cause of reparations discourse commits a classic “correlation =/= causation” fallacy. He may be part of the proximal cause, but he is not the ultimate cause. Fighting against him is futile when you understand the all-encompassing nature of the ultimate, genetic and economic cause. He is a head of the hydra of mutational load, if he is cut off two more will pop up in his place as long as the body of the hydra is alive.
Only this theory can explain why Cthulu always swims left, why conservatives always lose in the end. Idealists ask you to believe that the Left just happen to be better at writing books. Why would they be? It’s not that they’re better, it’s that the direction of evolutionary change is in their favor. Arguing with leftism is like begging a huge fall to not kill you. Gravity won’t listen, it just pulls you down because that’s the way it goes.
We need a helicopter, and that helicopter is called eugenics.
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